David Warner, the Sunrisers Hyderabad captain, felt that it was “harsh” to drop Manish Pandey at the start of the tournament after just 3 matches. He also revealed that the decision was made by the “selectors” to drop Pandey.
The right-hander featured in the first three matches of the season for Hyderabad where he scored 101 runs in Chennai where run-scoring has been extremely challenging but was criticized for his strike rate of 112.22.
His knocks against Kolkata Knight Riders (61* off 44), and Royal Challengers Bangalore (38 off 39) were received huge flak as he failed to complete the run-chases after settling himself in, and was dropped in the last couple of matches.
“It depends on the selectors. It was a harsh call in my opinion (on leaving out Pandey). But at the end of the day, it is a decision that they took,” David Warner said at the post-match presentation after the loss in super-over to Delhi Capitals.
Kedar Jadhav replaced Pandey and he, too, couldn’t get going against Capitals returning with a run-a-ball 9. 23-year-old Virat Singh as well struggled for timing and made a scratchy 14-ball 4. David Warner came to defence of the youngster citing that the pitch was difficult to bat.
“You can’t discredit Virat. He’s a very good player and on this surface, not getting too much time out there, it’s very difficult,” he added.
It remains unclear as of now who the “selectors” Warner was referring to are – the support staff of SRH comprises of Director of Cricket Tom Moody, head coach Trevor Bayliss, assistant coach Brad Haddin, batting mentor VVS Laxman.
We couldn’t bat well in the middle overs: David Warner
The skipper lamented the inability of the batters in the middle-order to score runs. Chasing 160, Jonny Bairstow started with alacrity scoring 38 runs off 18 deliveries but saw his opening partner get run out.
Kane Williamson took over from Bairstow to take the game deep, but lacked proper support from others around him – the next 5 batters scored a combined 26 runs. With the help of Jagadeesha Suchith, Williamson managed to eke out a tie – however, SRH lost in the super over.
David Warner takes the bowling as a positive from the game – after an 81-run stand between Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan, the bowlers got SRH back in the game, and even kept a lid, to an extent, on Rishabh Pant and Steve Smith.
“It has been a tough one. The way our bowlers came back after the powerplay was fantastic. We knew on this surface if you got off to a flier it is always going to be tough in the middle, the bowlers executed well.
“I thought Vijay, who is not one of our strike bowlers, bowled fantastically, could have bowled him an extra one, that’s the handiness of having him in the middle but the bowlers got us to a good total to chase.
“Obviously Jonny at the top of the order and Kane taking it deep, we couldn’t bat well in the middle overs,” the SRH captain asserted.
With 4 losses in 5 matches, Warner’s side slip to the 7th position at the points table. The Chennai leg is completed and they move to Delhi to face Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday.